This was the day that my baby niece got married. Her name is Ashleigh. She married a soldier. His name is Ashley. 

They had a beautiful wedding. A beautiful wedding for a lovely couple. 

Her dress was absolutely stunning, much like she is and always has been. Her dress was elegant and she looked truly perfect in it. She found her dream dress in a bridal boutique in the quaint little town of Faversham in Kent. It is called, can you believe it – Ashley’s?!

Their day went so smoothly and emotions were running high. My niece has grown into a woman in the blink of an eye. She is sensitive, kind, sensible and sure! She is sure of who she is and what she wants from her life. When the relationship between the Ash’s started to flourish… she was sure that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with this person that makes her smile the most in the world. 

Along with expressing my happiness that these two have found each other and wishing them a lifetime of love, adventure, happiness, communication, appreciation for each other, good health and understanding… I wanted to share a few of the photographs that I managed to gather amongst the wonderful festivities of the day…

Damn, My kid is cool!

My Gorgeous Matt & Me

My Big Brother & Me

Matt & Our Little Princess

My Big Sisters & Me

Such a special photograph – Noah & Ellenah with their cousins and Aunt and Uncle for a mass group hug.

Big Smiles & Hearts Full Of Love

My Beautiful Biggest Sister And Mother Of The Bride & Me 

My Stunning Niece And The Maid Of Honour & Me (Mid Dancing No Doubt!)

With only five years between my niece and me, it feels so strange… and I’m going to type this fast, before I cry- she has now taken that first step to a family of her very own. In a few weeks time she will be moving away again and in to Army life with the man she loves the most (apart from her Dad!)

When I think of her, I think of her deep eyes and the cute half smiles that she made you work for -until she couldn’t hold in a laugh any more and it would burst out from her belly. I remember when she used to wear her hair with glittery clips either side of her parting and she would team that up with a tracksuit. I remember how she used to love to play schools and when she was really small, she loved it when I used to sing ‘The Yellow Submarine’ Lullaby over and over again and ‘Life Is A Flower’ by Ace Of Base to her. I remember that time in Canterbury Army Barracks when she was out to play and she came back home upset because a bigger girl was mean to her. I zoomed out of the door and made that bigger kid apologise to my baby niece. I had never been more ready for a fight in my whole life. We went on adventures to the woods, the beach, the park and were always photographed at special occasions with her standing in front of me, my arms wrapped around her. I was always just tall enough to rest my chin on her precious little head. When she lived away, I always missed her and when she came to stay, I loved sharing my bedroom with her like she was my little sister. Over the years, as we got older and I came to bed later and later… she would wait up for me, ready to talk and afraid that if she didn’t she would miss something- sometimes I brought snacks for our late night chats and stories.

I am excited for her journey ahead of her. She has been waiting for this moment for a long time and always dreamed of her wedding but more importably a marriage. I hope she has the best life ever and she smiles every single day. I hope they both do…together…FOREVER!

Lots of Love & Hugs

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Precious Moments

Last night, as my beautiful daughter allowed me and only me, to scoop her up in to my arms as her eyes felt heavy and she admitted defeat that she was feeling sleepy, I could feel my heart soften with complete and overwhelming love for her. 


She threw both arms around me and held on to me so tightly, like I was the only person other than her on the planet. She snuggled her baby soft and squishy cheeks into my collar bone and yawned. The smell of her milky breath floated out into the air and at that moment, she opened her big blue eyes and stared in to mine, blinking heavily to fight away a night of hopefully, beautiful and magical dreams.


I lay my beautiful child onto her bed and as her puffy, woodland creature covered, pink duvet enveloped her petit frame, I could see her shudder at the thought of not being snuggled up into my arms. I could see her shiver as the slight chill surrounded her and as her eyes softly closed, she reached her plump, little hand out for me to hold. And that I did!


The feeling that she did not want me to leave her prevented me from simply walking from the room and closing her door gently behind me. I sat on the edge of her bed as her breathing slowed into a calm, peaceful rhythm. I watched the corners or her mouth twitch and her bright blonde eyebrows flicker. I could see her falling deeper into her dreams.


I held her little face in my hand and stroked her little cheeks gently so not to wake her. I scooped her wispy, blonde hair away from her eyes and back in to her natural side parting, tucking it delicately behind her ears.


And Then…


I sat and I watched her.


I watched her just be. Just exist. In all of her perfection.


I’m not sure how long I sat there, just looking at my little girl. 


My little girl who is bold, funny and bright. My little girl who imitates me and challenges me in all of the best ways. My little girl who is cheeky, adventurous and curious. My little girl who will push her boundaries, know her own mind and in the most complicated way, is the sweetest little diva I could ever be blessed to call mine. 


She is everything that I could ever want from a daughter and as I kissed her cheek and left her to sleep last night, I felt so very thankful that she is my little lady.


In the hustle and bustle of every day life, I think it is important to really appreciate the special moments between us, like going for a long walk fresh from the school run, before some would even be awake and before the morning dew could dissipate. Like yesterday morning! We took in some of the countryside which hosted many of my childhood memories. We talked and we breathed in the fresh air of a beautiful morning. We greeted dog walkers and joggers who were starting the day surrounded by nature and peace and we spent some time observing the horse riders doing their daily rounds. 


When I dropped her off at pre-school, I leaned down for a kiss goodbye and she held my face in both hands and said thank you for taking me to see the horses Mama, you’re the best! I love you sooooo much’… Needless to say, I skipped off on my merry way feeling pretty good about life.


Photographs, filming and the crazy world that is the internet has become a wonderful part of our family journey, a part which we all love. But, I absolutely realise the importance of recognising the moments away from it all so that I can soak up, hold on to, cherish and protect them – these moments that matter so much to me!



Squeezes and Love

x Ria x

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To My Dearest Little Ellenah,


It is the night before the birthday at which you will turn three years old. Very much like the past year, today has been colourful. Today you have shown me every mood, thought and feeling that you possibly could. From having to leave your ballet class halfway through because you were feeling a touch moody, the regret you felt hallway down the road because you wanted to ‘go back ooh dancing ooh join in’, the speed in which you offered to pick up a bag that I had dropped, offering me your last sweetie, the slight sobs because you were feeling tired and your ‘legs go a-bed’, the sweet smile on your face when you were catching some 3-o-clock, forty minute zzzzz’s, the rage that you demonstrated when you didn’t want to leave Nanny’s house and the whole-hearted face squeeze and snogaroo that you gave me at bedtime, surrounded by the words ‘I love you Mama’.


This year, you may have studied the term and become the definition of the ‘terrible two’s’… and ran with it… no doubt away from me… with me running behind you begging you to hold my hand and be calm and happy. But this year I have learned that behind the tantrums and scowls, there is just so much more to you Ellenah. 

Ellenah's 3rd Birthday Eve


Little One, sometimes you don’t show the people around you, even the ones who love you, just how amazing you are. You really are quite sensitive, weary and when you are being a bit bossy and kind of mouthy, you are actually quite shy. You are very much a one on one kind of girl, big crowds and strangers aren’t really your thing, in fact I think they make you quite nervous and your outlet of expression is to be a bit of a pickle. The confidence to simply be yourself will come in time, I am confident in that.


Do you know what? I don’t care! I know that you will not always feel this way. You are strong-minded and committed to what you think and feel. If you take anything with you from your childhood in to your life, I hope that it will be these qualities. You are from a family, full of confident, strong-minded and independent women, I hope that you will be one and you won’t let anybody push you around, deter you from what you think or feel or make you question the person that you are. If the journey that you are on leads you to being that kind of person (which I don’t doubt that it will) I for one will be incredibly pleased. 


You have started speaking a lot within the last couple of months. It was a bit of a slow start, what with your made-up/ french/ chinese/ american slang language that you had going on! It must have been quite frustrating for you at points. I did try my best to understand you, I promise! Now, we have some absolutely wonderful conversations. It is so nice (and I feel a little emotional thinking about it) to be able to talk to you. One day, if and when you are a mother, you will often ask yourself questions like- ‘I wonder what they will be good at, sound like, look like, be when they grow up?’… And, now I know what your voice sounds like. Some days you don’t stop talking… and I could listen to you all day long. You really are very funny! Everybody who knows you thinks so.


Sweetheart, you have grown a little bit more hair this year- it’s finally happening- Yay!


Regardless of all of the talk of tantrums and cheekiness, you are a beautiful human being. I am absolutely proud that you are mine and I have completely one hundred percent got your back. To me, you are perfect in every way. As much as I am looking forward to the day that we can laugh about all of the two year old anguish this past year has hosted, I am looking forward to being a part of each and every second of your journey, nothing makes me happier than being your Mummy. This year may have had its hard points but the good completely outshines all of it. This may sound slightly odd but it has really hit me in the past few months that I have a daughter… and how wonderful that feels. I have a little girl who I will love completely, every moment of every day. I have a princess who I have a duty to, to ensure she loves herself, inside and out and I have an obligation to protect her as well as prepare her for the times in her life that she will fall and things may hurt her or make her feel sad. I have to be her outlet to encourage her to get back up when she gets knocked down and I have to be there with my arms open wide when she has P.M.T and needs chocolate and wine when she is older. I demand myself to be that Mum to her… 

Ellenah's 3rd Birthday Eve

Happy 3rd Birthday Els Bels,

I hope your birthday is as great as you are and now that you know what a birthday is, I hope you will remember this day for the rest of your life. 

I love you so very much and just so much more than you will ever know.

From

x Mummy x

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Dear Noah,


How can you even be five tomorrow? It doesn’t feel quite right. It truly feels like yesterday that I first met you, In the bedroom of our old house, surrounded by paint pots and hot mess because we hadn’t long moved in… and we were in the process of decorating your nursery!!


We have come such a long way since that day. I truly couldn’t wish for a better relationship with you. You are honestly my best little friend. 


The past year has been a big one in your life. You closed a chapter on pre- school and you started school. My Darling, you have stormed it! Believe me when I tell you that I’m crying as I type this, I am so so so so proud of you. We may not have the best of everything and we may not shower you with material things but as long as you know that I love you, more than words can say and you keep bringing me pieces of scrap paper with words that you have written by yourself… We are rich, we are wealthy and my sweet boy, we will always be happy. 


This year, you have learned the importance of telling those you care about that you love them… you must have because you tell me over and over again, every day. We argue about who loves each other more. I am pretty sure I love you most but you always say “Please can we love each other the same?”…  You are quite articulate like that… and very sweet!!


In your first few years, I would always question myself. I would always wonder if I was giving you the right tools, to learn and to grow. This year, I have seen just how smart you are. Nothing seems to phase you and you ask me questions that I can’t get my head around sometimes, or questions that I am afraid to answer. I don’t want to tell you why the world sometimes goes wrong, I don’t want to be the one to harden you… not that I think the world could, you seem to take it all in your stride and you always say something that makes everything a little better. You truly are my Sunshine!!! As long as you keep shining bright, nothing can bring me down.

Noah's 5th Birthday Eve

You are fresh. When you learn or experience something new, I feel like it is the first time I am. You are enthusiastic about such simple things and I idolise you for it. I hope you always see the world that way.


You are imaginative. I could watch you play for days on end and listen to your stories forever. What melts my heart the most is that not only do you still involve me but you always see me as a main character in your games and your stories. I am completely honoured to be a part of it. I wish that you will always keep me that close to your heart. You will always and forever be that close to mine.


Sometimes, when you play rough with your sister or you leap around on the furniture as part of your game, I forget that you are still so little. I tell you not to treat our home like that and that when it comes to Ellenah, you should know better… shame on me!! These years, quite evidently go too fast so you should be free to play, it is good for you!! And, it isn’t always your fault that Ellenah gets hurt, she gives as good as she gets and I couldn’t stop her from playing rough with you if I tried, she loves you as much as we do! She looks up to you and wants you around all of the time, even when she pushes away your constant attempts at kisses and cuddles, if you stopped, she would wonder why!! Sometimes, I treat you like you are older than you are, sometimes you act it… From this point on, please just be five and I will take care of the rest.


You are growing up to be a wonderful, beautiful person. You have a good and pure heart. You are charismatic and kind… and so generous, like I will always give away my last Rolo… you will always give me a pink love heart from your Harribo Mix-Up. I hope you always stay that way… You really are perfect.


I am so happy to be the person you come to when you are sad. When you are sick, it’s me you call for. When you want to tell someone about you day… you choose me.

I feel so privileged to be your Mummy and I love you so very much.

Happy 5th Birthday Sweetheart

I hope it’s as special as you are

All of my love

The biggest hugs and too many kisses

x Mummy x

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Pregnancy Poem

Hellooooo Everyone (Yep still feels odd!)


Today’s Blog may be a little long Guys and it wasn’t the one I was really planning but I couldn’t not put it on here today.


 As you may know I have two children, I love them both equally in very different ways because they are both unique (Obviously!) but today I wanted to write about my first born Son. His name is Noah and he is 4 years old, nearly five (he can not wait to be five!).


 I had Noah when I was just 22… some say still a baby myself, I disagree. Noah and I are very close, we have a great relationship. Regardless of how young I was, I had already decided what I wanted for Noah, myself and our relationship since before he was born. I could not wait to meet him!


This morning I have watched him closely, the way he independently manoeuvres around, his confidence, his humour. He has truly grown in to a lovely little boy and I’m not just saying that because he is mine. 


This got me thinking about a poem I wrote when I was carrying him. It is by no means perfect, I’m not a poet… BUT… it came from my heart and when I read it, it takes me back to a scary time, the anticipation of how much my life would change, the overwhelming love, the self doubt, the overwhelming love again and  the overwhelming love AGAIN (Yikes, I am soppy aren’t I?!)


So, here it is (I hope you make it to the end and I hope you enjoy it!).

God’s Gift

Sometimes my mind wonders, to future, present and past

I think of all the days when life went by so fast

I think of places I have been and people I have met

Lazy summers, exotic places, dancing in the rain and getting wet

 

Life is all about the living, every single day

So that when you get older, you have lots of things to say

Life is all about embracing, each and every part

It’s something to believe in, so hope can fill your heart

 

Life is a gift to cherish, the good and any flaws

Things happen for a reason and always opens doors

I used to think I knew it all, fate had a different view

It turned my world upside down, the reason only God knew

 

I said goodbye to a life I thought was destiny

I came across a fairytale, that’s where I met Daddy

He became my hero, he saved me in a way

God had shown his plan to me, we were meant to meet that day

 

Our love grew very quickly, my heart quickly fell

We were each others everything, we were in a spell

He held me tightly, made me smile, made me feel so safe

I felt the world slow right down, in his sweet embrace

 

Our fairytale carried on through summer and the cold

He made me feel so beautiful, when I was in his hold

I opened up my heart to him, he gave his in return

Whenever I would see him, my heart would flutter and burn

 

One night he came to see me, I kissed him a hello

Alone that night, I found out something he should really know

I sat down across the room, he asked if I was okay

I said that life was changing, there was something I needed to say

 

He waited very patiently, a spark of worry in his eyes

I looked out of the window, to the stars up in the skies

A tear fell upon my cheek, I know what I had to do

I smiled from the bottom of my heart and said that God was giving us you

 

Ever since the day I knew, you were growing there inside

I have never felt love like it, I am beaming with pride

I beg that you be safe and grow healthy and strong

I really can’t wait to meet you, when you come along

 

I picture what you will look like, I can’t help but cry

An angel has blessed me from above, somewhere in the sky

I wonder what you will grow to be, I wonder what you will do

I just know whatever you become, I’ll always be proud of you

 

You are my inspiration to make every day so bright

Brighter than the stars shone, when I came about you that night

You make me want to be better, to be everything I can be

You are my something to believe in, you have set me free

 

I am free to have the courage, to be whatever you need

To take care of you and treasure you and say goodbye to greed

I am free to show you the world, near and far away

I want you to see it all, for that I’ll always pray

 

I’ll wish you see a mountain top and a peaceful stream

For the beauty that is the world, you should see it gleam

I hope you meet such people who show you life’s divide

I insist you understand life, from someone else’s side

 

I demand you live for the moments that really make you smile

To understand the seconds, that make your life worth while

I want for you to have belief and never live in fear

I need you to know wherever you are, for you I’ll always be here

 

Whenever your hour of sunshine becomes a rainy day

I’ll always be there to tell you that it will clear away

I’ll always be there to pick you up, if ever you should fall

I’ll always be there listening, if ever you should call

 

I’ll let you walk your footsteps, wherever you should roam

I want you to know, wherever I am will always be your home

You’ve made my world so colourful, you’ve made my dreams come true

The day God gave me a gift and the gift he gave was you.

 x Love Mummy x
If you made it to the end, thank you so much for reading and I hope you could feel how much I meant every word… and still do. 

I would love to hear how you all felt pre-parenthood, feel now that you little ones are growing so quickly or just anything you want to share with me and tell me, I love hearing from you.

With Love, Ria x 

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